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Thread: Daltex Handmade Bicycles

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    Daltex's Avatar
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    Default Daltex Handmade Bicycles

    My name is Glenn Thompson and my shop, Daltex Handmade Bicycles, is located in the Bishop Arts District section of Dallas, Texas. I build Road, Cross, Touring, Fixed, and Mountain bicycles using steel and mostly lugged construction.

    The bicycles that I build are designed to fit the specific rider and a specific type of riding. My bicycles are definitely not race bikes, they handle solid and stable. The fit is more upright than a typical production road bike. My designs allow and expect the rider to use the drops more often than on a typical bike. Too many riders spend 100% of their time using only the brake hoods hand position. It is my viewpoint that if the only hand position that works for you is the brake hoods, the bike may not fit you properly.

    My typical client has a limited amount of riding time and has no need or desire to pretend to be a professional racer. I try to design a bike that excels on weeknight club training rides and 60 or 70 mile rides on the weekends, while also being useful to get around town on. That is always the goal.

    I don’t sell framesets, I only sell complete bicycles. Have I ever lost a sale as a result? Yes. Do I regret not ever compromising this policy? No. I don’t take special requests on the design either. I design the bikes to handle the way that my bikes handle. Potential clients are often under the false impression that they can isolate out one variable from the bike design and then dictate that parameter: “ Let’s make the ST angle XX* “. My answer is always no. The complete design is dictated by putting the rider in the correct position and making the bike ride the way it should.

    I first met David Cheakas around 1994. I had seen an article on David in the old Bicycle Guide magazine’s ‘Hot Tubes’ section. A friend and I had decided to order frames from David. My friend ordered a frame, and David allowed me to watch the build process. I never ordered my frame, but I did begin a great relationship with David that lasts to this day. Over the years, David taught me his method and his process of framebuilding. You may remember me working the Cheakas booth at Portland NAHBS and Indianapolis NAHBS. David still ranks as my favorite American framebuilder, and one day I will put a deposit down on that frame that I planned to buy back in 1994.

    Monday nights are ‘Open Shop’ night at Daltex. Newbie builders, potential clients, and hobby builders all come by to watch the build process, have access to the equipment, and drink beer. The group is varied: We’ve had grads from UBI and elsewhere that need access to the equipment, serious self-taught guys, too many engineers, etc. Open Shop night is for people that may have a bike or two already under their belt and have done their due diligence. Some participants that you may know are Jay (PCW), Wade Patton, Steve Flusche, and Wes the Welder.

    NAHBS this year was an especially rewarding experience. Richard came by my booth and we had a very interesting discussion on community, participation, and perspective. Dario Pegoretti liked my little stainless steel Texas shaped bottle boss reinforcers, asked for 4 of them, then gave me a big hug! And of course, getting to see all the other Texas builders, who I count as my good friends is always a treat.

    As anyone that knows me can tell you, the most important thing in my life is my daughter. I have had the luxury and privilege of raising her by myself since she was about 4 years old, she is now in 7th grade. She bakes cookies & pizza for the guys in the shop, she helps me with graphics and color choices, she goes on every delivery with me. If you saw the Daltex cowboy hats that we gave away at our booth in NAHBS Austin, you have seen her work. She painted our logo on about 100 hats the week before the show.

    Thanks for listening, see you all in Sacramento!
    Glenn Thompson
    http://Daltex.bike

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    Default Re: Daltex Handmade Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by GAAP View Post

    NAHBS this year was an especially rewarding experience. Richard came by my booth and we had a very interesting discussion on community, participation, and perspective.
    it was the single best face time i had at NAHBS atmo.
    good to see you here and read the daltex back story.

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    Default Re: Daltex Handmade Bicycles

    Good to see this here, Glenn. If I lived in Dallas, I probably would be one of the open shop night regulars. As it happens, I'll have to wait until October. Good writeup.
    Eric Doswell, aka Edoz
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    http://edozbicycles.wordpress.com/
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    Default Re: Daltex Handmade Bicycles

    Ain't them NAHBS a hoot!

    Full freakin' disclosure yall, Glenn and I split a room at Portland and again at Indy (representing Southwest Frameworks). He didn't come to Richmond and there I was part of the Shamrock crew. Then Daltex Handmade becomes a NAHBS exhibitor at Austin, and we were able to work together again.

    It was June 2009 when I invaded the Daltex shop and hacked out my first one and the bike I still ride the most.
    WPV#1 hecho en Texas.

    Thanks again to Glenn for that access to tools and what little guidance I'd take, as well as introducing me to Mr. Cheakas, Tim Massengill, and other area builders. Plus all that NAHBS fun we get into.

    Glenn, are you getting any riding in these days? Have you built Brit a bike yet? Does she want one?

    Cheers!
    Last edited by WadePatton; 03-13-2011 at 08:59 PM.






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    Default Re: Daltex Handmade Bicycles

    I'll add that Glenn found me on Vsalon and reached up across the Red River to invite me down to the Texas Handmade Bicycles Show last October. It made me feel like I had been taken in and adopted by the Tx building community, and I appreciate that. I met many cool peeps at that show, and got tons of encouraging feedback. I gained a ton of confidence in showing my work, and it wouldn't have happened near as soon without Glenn.
    Eric Doswell, aka Edoz
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    http://edozbicycles.wordpress.com/
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    Default Re: Daltex Handmade Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE View Post
    it was the single best face time i had at NAHBS atmo.
    good to see you here and read the daltex back story.
    Richard,

    Thanks for taking the time to talk with me at NAHBS. You are amazingly open and easy to talk to.

    Also, thanks for your ongoing participation on this forum. I don't post often, but the reading is part of my daily diet.

    GT
    Glenn Thompson
    http://Daltex.bike

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    Default Re: Daltex Handmade Bicycles

    Wade,

    Yes, just now getting to ride more. Things have been busy for the last couple of years, and I foolishly sold my personal road bike to an impatient customer a while back - but all is good now. I took the time to build myself a new road bike and I also will be hitting the MTB trails again.

    Wow, June 2009. Seems like about 6 months ago that you came to Texas. Brit says Hi.

    GT
    Glenn Thompson
    http://Daltex.bike

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    Default Re: Daltex Handmade Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by edoz View Post
    I'll add that Glenn found me on Vsalon and reached up across the Red River to invite me down to the Texas Handmade Bicycles Show last October. It made me feel like I had been taken in and adopted by the Tx building community, and I appreciate that. I met many cool peeps at that show, and got tons of encouraging feedback. I gained a ton of confidence in showing my work, and it wouldn't have happened near as soon without Glenn.
    Eric,

    We were thrilled to have you exhibit in the Texas show last year. You have enough bikes around Dallas, I almost consider you a Dallas builder....... except on Texas - OU weekend...
    Glenn Thompson
    http://Daltex.bike

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    Default Re: Daltex Handmade Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by GAAP View Post
    My bicycles are definitely not race bikes, they handle solid and stable. The fit is more upright than a typical production road bike. My designs allow and expect the rider to use the drops more often than on a typical bike. Too many riders spend 100% of their time using only the brake hoods hand position. It is my viewpoint that if the only hand position that works for you is the brake hoods, the bike may not fit you properly.

    Glenn, what a great story and I love the Monday night open shop! Ever since my days in the service, comradery has been something I've looked for in life and the bicycle community does a pretty good job at being one big family thanks to cats like yourself.

    Question regarding the above. Opposite of yourself, I market and focus on performance bikes but comfort is also a large portion of my goal. I use performance based geometries but default to a longer head tube for the same reasons you stated in the above quote. Do you see this as a compromise to a racing bike or rather just a small piece of what makes your bike's geometries less race and more for the club rider.

    Bummed I didn't get a chance to see your booth in Austin.

    Thanks!
    Chris

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    Default Re: Daltex Handmade Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Dornbox View Post
    Glenn, what a great story and I love the Monday night open shop! Ever since my days in the service, comradery has been something I've looked for in life and the bicycle community does a pretty good job at being one big family thanks to cats like yourself.

    Question regarding the above. Opposite of yourself, I market and focus on performance bikes but comfort is also a large portion of my goal. I use performance based geometries but default to a longer head tube for the same reasons you stated in the above quote. Do you see this as a compromise to a racing bike or rather just a small piece of what makes your bike's geometries less race and more for the club rider.

    Bummed I didn't get a chance to see your booth in Austin.

    Thanks!
    Chris
    Chris,

    Likewise, one of the challenges of NAHBS as an exhibitor is to break out of your own booth and make time to see the other guys. I didn't see nearly as much as I wanted to.

    Regarding head tube length, it definitely may compromise the cool race-bike look. I spec deep drop non-ergo shaped bars and always leave plenty of HT adjustability, I feel the vast majority of people can ride faster when they have the option of the correct bar height for them. On a pure race bike, it is perhaps a bit of a compromise. But I see WAY TOO MANY guys riding the '2011 Peanut Butter & Jelly Century' on big-buck race bikes with hands on the brake hoods and elbows straight and locked in position. I'm from the school of thought, 'The right horse foir the right course'.

    Yeah, open shop night is a favorite of mine. I hate to see a hobbyist 'tool up' just to build a bike or two. We have a fairly tight knit group of regulars and others just come & go when their projects are done. The Texas (especially Dallas area) framebuilding community is a very small club, I make an effort to help out anyone I can as much as I can.

    Thanks for your post, I will make a point to get to your booth in Sacremento.

    GT
    Last edited by Daltex; 03-14-2011 at 08:19 AM.
    Glenn Thompson
    http://Daltex.bike

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    Default Re: Daltex Handmade Bicycles

    Glenn, I'm stoked to finally see you "smoked out". Richard, I've been on his ass for a while trying to get him to do this so you must have made quite an impact down in Austin.

    I'm one of the guys that has been making open shop night for some time. Long before meeting Glenn, I'd decided I really wanted to build my own frame (note that it isn't even plural) and started doing the research to get started. Then, serendipity struck when I attended the 1st Texas Custom Bike Show at the Frisco Velodrome and met Glenn. Actually, we'd met a few days prior when a mutual friend asked if I had a pair of fixed wheels that I could loan/rent to a "local builder". Sure enough, there they were on a Daltex rig at the show. We'd talked a bit about building and Glenn invited me to come by for "open shop night". Of course, I said, "you'd better be serious 'cause I'll take you up on that!" and so I did. It was nice having access to a TIG welder at a local machine shop but I didn't really have the knowledge to braze the little bits or an oxy/acetylene rig to do them with. Glenn opened his frame shop to me, taught me to braze, check alignment, and offer a hand every now and then and I've enjoyed frame night ever since.

    One thing I really enjoy about it though (and I'm sure you guys in the popular framebuilding areas can attest to this) is that we can bounce ideas of off one another in person and not just on a forum. Sure, we get lots of work done but after a while when the flux is soaked off, the torch tip is cool, dial indicators are reading in range, and threads are chased, faces are faced..... We sit and talk about frame building and things we'd like to do next or one day or when we have the time, color schemes, forum threads, FNL pictures, etc. The IPAs have started to kick in and it's not too much longer before Brit gives us the warning that it's getting close to bed time and that I have to go home. Those are my very favorite times and Glenn has taught me as much during those times as he has during the real work.

    Glenn has a infectious passion toward building bicycles that surely must have been passed along to me. You'll note that I wanted to build "a frame" and now I've got three and plans for the next three. I don't know how that happened but I'm sure it has something to do with seeing another builder's work. It certainly also has a lot to do with him seeing mine as I progressed along for 13 months on the first frame. That encouragement, the help, and the comradery drew me in deeper and deeper.

    I've met a ton of folks in the building community because of Daltex and I'm sure the ride is far from over. It's been great to see Glenn's finished product increase in quality as well. That's not to say the quality wasn't good, to the contrary, it was very good. But now his work is just stellar. Each new bike I see is better than the last and could easily stand on it's own as a "show bike" even though it was simply built to be ridden.

    If all goes as planned, I hope to never own my own oxy/acetylene rig because I'd sure life would creep up and I wouldn't make open shop night as often as I do now and I'd sure miss that. TIGing in my shop and brazing at Daltex is my long term hope--until he gets sick of me hanging around. I hope I don't wear that welcome out any time soon.

    Thanks again, Glenn and keep building dynamite bikes!
    Last edited by PCW; 03-14-2011 at 03:32 PM.

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    Default Re: Daltex Handmade Bicycles

    Jay,

    For those of you that may not know Jay, he is a talented Engineer (he built a functioning submarine as his senior project in college) and likely the best wheelbuilder in Dallas.

    Jay is such a integral part of 'Open Shop Night' we might have to cancel if he quite coming. But the best thing about this guy is that he is always in a good mood. He is always up for a ride, always happy to help others, always ready to have a beer.....

    Thanks for the kind words.

    GT
    Glenn Thompson
    http://Daltex.bike

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    Default Re: Daltex Handmade Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by PCW View Post
    <snipped> Glenn has a infectious passion toward building bicycles
    agreed. i felt that and i only spent 20 minutes with him at his NAHBS booth atmo.

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    Default Re: Daltex Handmade Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by GAAP View Post
    Jay,

    For those of you that may not know Jay, he is a talented Engineer (he built a functioning submarine as his senior project in college)
    Did you have to remove the brake caliper on the submarine when you got a flat?
    Eric Doswell, aka Edoz
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    Default Re: Daltex Handmade Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by edoz View Post
    Did you have to remove the brake caliper on the submarine when you got a flat?
    Jay tells me the sub was tubeless.......
    Glenn Thompson
    http://Daltex.bike

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    Default Re: Daltex Handmade Bicycles

    I would like to add that my ex girlfriend really liked GAAP.

    EX girlfriend.

    Where's my hat, man?!

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    Default Re: Daltex Handmade Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by -Dustin View Post
    I would like to add that my ex girlfriend really liked GAAP.

    EX girlfriend.

    Where's my hat, man?!
    -D,

    I liked her too.....

    I managed to save one hat, it's got your name on it. You need to come by the shop.

    They won't pull your racing license for wearing my hat, right???

    GT
    Glenn Thompson
    http://Daltex.bike

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    Default Re: Daltex Handmade Bicycles

    Last edited by Daltex; 03-16-2011 at 07:46 AM.
    Glenn Thompson
    http://Daltex.bike

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    Default Re: Daltex Handmade Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by GAAP View Post
    It is my viewpoint that if the only hand position that works for you is the brake hoods, the bike may not fit you properly.
    I love you, man.

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    Default Re: Daltex Handmade Bicycles

    Quote Originally Posted by GAAP View Post
    Newbie builders, potential clients, and hobby builders all come by to watch the build process, have access to the equipment, and drink beer.
    Whoa... now I really love you!

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